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Showdown talks on Christchurch supermarket plans
A ‘CRUNCH’ meeting is to take place between Christchurch council and one of the supermarket developers over planning decision delays.
Brookhouse, which is applying to build a supermarket at Meteor Retail Park in Somerford , have called for a meeting with the council about their application which was submitted in February this year.
They say the continued delay is threatening their investment in the rundown and dilapidated site.
Tom Whitehead, Brookhouse development manager, said: “Our proposals for Meteor Retail Park should be determined on their own merits in the allocated timeframe.
“Unfortunately we have been put in the same bracket as the two major superstore proposals that are twice the size of our scheme and this has put us in a position of uncertainty.”
Decisions on all three supermarket schemes – which include a Morrisons at Stony Lane and a supermarket at Bailey Retail Park – were made at a meeting in June.
Councillors approved the Bailey park riverside scheme but rejected Meteor Park and Morrisons, despite questions of consistency from planning officers during the meeting.
But after threats of legal action from one of the applicants, the council scrapped all the decisions and decided to hold a new meeting, which is due to take place in October.
Tom Whitehead from Brookhouse said: “We hope the members appreciate that the plans for Meteor Retail Park are different. The foodstore proposals are half the size of the other schemes and represent a chance to regenerate an important gateway site in Christchurch.
“We’ll have virtually no impact on town centre trade, will not compromise their aspirations for the magistrates’ court site and the local communities are fully behind the plans.”
A spokesperson for Christchurch council said: “Brookhouse has asked for a meeting to discuss their application, which has been agreed to.”